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July 15, 2020

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It’s a boy! Couple finds joy after tragedy

After losing three babies, a couple from Henan Province yesterday welcomed into their arms a healthy baby boy.

He was delivered at the Shanghai International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital.

The new father and his brother both carry the same genetic defect which leads to Schaaf-Yang syndrome, a rare disorder that can cause fatal complications in offspring.

The brother’s wife gave birth to a healthy baby girl last year at the same hospital. The couple had previously lost two boys, and another son suffers from cerebral palsy.

The girl was also the first in the world to be born with the aid of pre-implantation genetic-testing to avoid SYS inheritance.

SYS is a rare genetic disorder caused by a disruption of the MAGEL2 gene on chromosome 15. The mutations are inherited from the father.

The syndrome can cause an array of infant health defects, including low muscle tone, developmental delay, intellectual disability, autism and other disorders.

For this latest delivery, doctors used an pre-implantation procedure to select a healthy embryo which could be carried to term by the mother, surnamed Cheng. But he pregnancy faced several complications, such as the unexpected splitting of the embryo, death of a fetus after the 12th week, and issues such as pregnancy-related diabetes for Cheng.

Led by president Huang Hefeng, the hospital organized a multidisciplinary team to lead the effort.

“We got through all the challenges with the patient together,” Huang stated.


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